Friday, August 8, 2008

Know Your Opponent: Houston Texans

Denver Broncos record vs. Houston Texans
: Home 1-0 Away 0-1, overall 1-1.

Connections: Houston head coach Gary Kubiak played for Denver from the 1983 to 1991 seasons, serving predominantly as a backup quarterback to the legendary John Elway. As a quarterback for the Denver Broncos Gary Kubiak had a record of three wins and two loses as a starter in his eight seasons in the NFL. A little known fact about Gary Kubiak as a player is that he actually filled in as a punter for Denver in 1989, starting once and punting twice that year (averaging 21.5 yards per punt).

After retiring he began coaching for his former college team, Texas A&M serving as a running backs coach for two seasons (1992-1994). He soon joined Mike Shanahan in San Francisco as a quarterback coach, assisting quarterback Steve Young to his second NFL MVP award and first Super Bowl MVP award.

The next season Mike Shanahan took Pat Bowlen's offer to become the head coach in Denver and Gary Kubiak followed. Kubiak was named the offensive coordinator in Denver and worked together with Mike Shanahan and John Elway to lead Denver to winning two Super Bowl. Kubiak stayed beyond John Elway's retirement, following the 1999 season, despite numerous head coaching offers from elsewhere in the NFL.

In 2006 Kubiak replaced Dom Capers as the head coach in Houston, becoming the second head coach in Houston Texans history. Kubiak has been a part of five Super Bowls (as a coach and player) with the Denver Broncos and one with the San Francisco 49ers. He was also been a part of two of his players winning the NFL MVP award (Steve Young in 1994 and Terrell Davis in 1999). Want a real random fact about Gary Kubiak? He is rumored, on the internet, to appear as a reserve quarterback in Madden NFL 2004 for the Indianapolis Colts however that is in correct, it was actually Jim Kubiak.

Kyle Shanahan, as fans will remember is the son of Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan. The younger Shanahan has never coached for Denver, beginning his NFL career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under coach Jon Gruden, serving as the assistant coach for offensive quality control, from 2004-2005. In 2006 Kyle Shanahan joined Gary Kubiak in Houston, coaching first the wide receivers, then in 2007 he was named the quarterback coach and this season Shanahan became the youngest offensive coordinator in NFL history (at 28) in Houston. He is a full three years younger than New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
Alex Gibbs, the assistant head coach/offense for Houston served as an offensive line coach in Denver from 1984-1987 and again from 1995-2003. Gibbs is perhaps most famous in Denver for installing the "Zone blocking scheme," and for insuring that his offensive linemen unite by not speaking to the media.

On Denver's side: Denver Broncos wide receiver's coach Jedd Fisch served as the Houston Texans defensive quality control assistant from 2003-2005. Denver college scout Eugene Armstrong served in Houston for the previous seven seasons. Quarterback Jay Cutler posted his personal best game, as far as pass attempts (39) and completions (27), against Houston last season. Denver strong safety Marlon McCree spent the 2003 and 2004 seasons with the Houston Texans. Denver wide receiver Edell Shepherd was the primary kick returner for Houston in 2006. The Denver Broncos are undefeated (4-0) against the Houston Texans in preseason play.

History: Houston is a relatively new franchise, entering the league in 2001, but Denver has played them four times in the preseason and two times in the regular season. Former Denver offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak has modeled the Houston Texans on the Denver Broncos (earning the Houston Texans the name 'Denver Jr.' around these parts). However, last season, Mike Shanahan's former protege, Gary Kubiak and son, Kyle Shanahan spanked Denver knocking them completely out of the playoff race and lending to Denver's final 7-9 record.

Key contributors: QB- Matt Schaub, WR- Andre Johnson, RB- Ahman Green, DE- Mario Williams, LB- DeMeco Ryans.

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Garrett Barnes said...

You forgot their TE coach Brian Pariani. He trained Shannon Sharpe from 1995 until he moved to the Texans when Kubiak came. Also Bradlee Van Pelt their backup QB was a Bronco. They just copy us. lol

Ian said...

Yeah, I didn't want to bore everyone with the ex-Bronco players who now play for Denver. There's so many Chris Myers, Nick Ferguson, Mike Bell just got cut by the Texans today!

Imitation is the highest form of flattery though.